Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why I am considering migrating a large site to WordPress

1. Accessible WordPress themes have been audited.

Hands down--this is the number one concern for an active organization of people who are low vision and blind. The Washington Council of the Blind (WCB) provides information and resources to the general public largely through its website. Our current website uses old code and looks very dated.

Sure, achieving 100 percent accessibility is almost impossible because there is no industry standard for browsers or adaptive software. And now people access the Internet with many different kinds of devices.

Who has the time to test forms for accessibility? WCB is an all-volunteer organization. Our website committee does well to submit content and edit. When we post a scholarship application it needs to work or credibility is lost.

George Williams posted a great article listing accessible themes that have been thoroughly tested.

2. People using screen-reading software can manage the admin controls.

This means empowerment for everyone. The Cisco Academy for the Visually Impaired offers an excellent online course on managing WordPress sites. Yes, there are blind designers and programmers who do very well.

3. New WordPress themes are responsive.

This means the themes reflow your content to work well on computers, tablets, and phones. You don’t have to build, test, and update three separate layouts.

4. Code is kept up-to-date.

This keeps my back-end programmer and the membership very happy when security is such a headache.

5. Dynamic header plug-ins give a fresh look when good photos are hard to come by. 

This means I can have four or five photo collages that swap out each time the site is visited.

Do blind people really care about how a site looks? Yes, and people losing vision are hyper-sensitive about design and fashion.

Content and authenticity matter with photos.

Visitors to a site need to know there are real people they can engage. Use action photos of real people in your organization, not stock photos. Fresh content tells visitors you pay attention. Using your website as an online brochure will not invite action or repeat visits.

(Of course, provide alternative text so someone using a screen reader knows what content is provided in each photo.)

No comments:

Post a Comment